Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Three Alston days on the trot. First, my regular one, with the attempt at fibre reactive dyeing.


blue string bag

Well, hey, look at that! It worked. It was a lot of fun, actually, and has gone a long way to curing my phobia. I felt perfectly comfortable explaining all my confusion and lack of experience, and the group and I worked together on it, with great pleasure and success.

At the same time, I had three returners who had been to the class previously but some time ago, and now were back. Remembering some things, but not everything. Two of them did pretty well, but the third (mother of one of the others) and I struggled a lot. I am always upset when I can't manage to get someone to at least spin a yard or two of knicker elastic, but this time we barely achieved that. My pupil was very deaf, which I didn't cope too well with - if I am demonstrating how to do something, I find it hard to remember to keep facing the student. But she was a sweet soul and I think, despite everything did enjoy her day.

And there I stayed for two more days on our regular annual retreat, with the DSM and I nominally teaching spindle spinning. And indeed so doing, slightly to my surprise. I had thought that we might get a group of people who were happy to spindle away for a while and then drift away, but not a bit of it. We had one or two near beginners, several who wanted to learn to ply, and many who wanted to get to grips with akhas and taklis. It was fabulous, we all had fun.

(The sharp eyed will realise that we were even in the same room.)

Alston workshop July 09

I finally felt that I had spun enough to try out something. I had come across a reference to plying on a top whorl spindle by leaving the first yarn spun attached to the hook, winding the cop on top of it, so to speak. then when done, removing the cop and using both ends of the singles as in a centre pull ball. I didn't think it was going to work at first, as a tangle of yarn created itself immediately I got started. but having discarded that, I had no further problems and managed to ply quite satisfactorily. I am not sure that I see a huge advantage - you save yourself the trouble of winding a centre pull ball, but in so doing run the risk of tangling. I might well try it again though, just for the exercise.

different plying method

(In the photo above, the yarn is only caught around the hook to show where the two ends are. If you see what I mean.)

Ah, well, back home to reality, an awful lot of catch up on housework, and the final push towards Summer School.

So much excitement - can I cope?

1 comment:

Barbara Blundell said...

Yes you can-as always !